Another Weekend Recap

posted on: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This is just a little collection of photos from this past weekend when Adam, Julie and Jordyn came to town for a visit. There was a lot of time spent at home curled up on the sofa or in chairs with blankets and good conversation while the children occupied themselves. But the sunny day required we get out of the house a bit on Saturday despite the cold temperatures. We stopped by Akron's most fun vintage shop and the kids picked out comic books and rode in the fire engine while the adults dug through the stacks of records and even brought home a few gems. Then we took ourselves out for ice cream sundaes, squeezed in a quick jaunt through a local pet store and then finished the day freezing our faces off at the playground. It was maybe a better idea in theory. Spring, whenever you want to come back again we are ready for you!

Valentine's Day, 2014

posted on: Monday, February 17, 2014

A couple days before valentine's day we printed these cute valentines from Merrilee's Etsy shop for Wes to hand out at school and Oren to give to his friends at Miss Lori's house.  

And then, because I can't control myself when it comes to this holiday, I made 22 of these little paper airplanes from Design*Sponge for Wes's classmates too! His teacher has a no candy policy and they weren't even having a party so I thought this might be a little extra fun for them. Is that typical in your kid's schools? I always remember loving our annual valentines party in elementary school and I was kind of bummed for him that he didn't get to experience that. 

On valentine's morning I set out this little tray with a few goodies, some art supplies and four new sklyanders for the boys to share. Did I go overboard? Yeah, probably. But what can I say? I'm sucker for this holiday. (And they are completely obsessed with skylanders right now. Also, I found you can buy used ones that are still in great shape off of ebay and your children never know the difference ;)

Cue the celebration!

Abby shared some of these delightful little raspberry-filled hand pies she made and that night the boys had a sleepover at my mom's house and Josh and I got to try out DBA for the first time. So, thanks guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful valentine's day as well.  And it's also time to announce the winner of our GooseWaddle giveaway so...

drum roll, please.

The winner is Breanne Pesis. Congrats, Breanne! I'll be in touch soon with the details.
And a big thanks to everyone who entered, that was fun!


Books I Read

posted on: Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I have been on such a good streak with books that I thought I should share what I've been getting into lately. I do this because I know I love reading round ups like this on other people's blogs (Renee and Annie, I'm looking at you) and because it's how I've found so many good reads that end up becoming favorites of my own. I finally, FINALLY read the Anne of Green Gables series which I feel like is supposed to be some girlhood rite of passage I somehow missed the boat on. But, years later, I'm happy to report it totally lived up to the hype. Although they couldn't be more different, I'd almost compare reading these books to the way it felt to read the Game of Thrones series in that you get completely transported to another world. When reading GOT I'd find myself throwing "mayhaps" into everyday real life conversations and day dreaming about life as Khaleesi. With the Anne books I found myself day dreaming about the shores of Prince Edward Island and seriously considering taking up sewing. You really get invested in the story and the characters and Montgomery paints Anne's world with such an idyllic and hopeful brush that you never want to leave. The Anne series is like father of the bride on crack x 100. Meaning: I want to live in that world.

After finishing the marathon of Anne books I was looking for a quick read and for something totally different. I went into "If I Stay" with no clue what it was about - didn't even read the plot summary. And holy shit, did this book ever take me by surprise after a few feel-good chapters. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED this book. But whoa, if I had known what it was all about beforehand I probably would have never even read it. I cried so many times. Just burst into tears every few minutes towards the end, but in such a "people can be really good, I love humanity" way. Gah, even just thinking about it now gets me all riled up inside. Apparently, there's a sequel I'm going to need to get my hands on. And also, did you know they're making it into a movie?! (Meet you there! I'll bring the tissues.)
After having this book recommended to me about, oh, I don't know, a million times? I finally buckled down and read it. It was completely epic and amazing. It has that long, historical plot threadline that was a touch reminiscent of Middlesex and I really, really loved it. I already have Great House in the queue on the kindle all fired up and ready to go.

Ok, so this is he only dud on the list and I have to be honest with you, I didn't even finish it. Someone, somewhere along the line, recommended it to me. But I found it to just be boring. Admittedly, I threw in the towel three quarters of the way through, so maybe something in the ending makes it fantastic and I'm totally missing out? If you know this to be true, please let me know and I'll finish it. Otherwise, I say don't bother.

And then there's this guy. Everyone in the world is talking about this book and I had to get in on the action. I'm still reading it and only about half way through but I'm really enjoying it so far. It did make our trip to the art museum the other day a little uneasy if you know what I'm saying, but otherwise I'm digging it. I'll give you the final review once I finish, but so far, so good.
And that's it! As always if you have any book recs you think I should be reading please let me know in the comments below.

Another Winter Weekend

posted on: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We are running out of things to do indoors. You guys too? This winter has been wholly unforgiving and I could not stomach the idea of one more weekend being homebound. (Although friday night we did have Josh's sisters over for sloppy joes and a late night round of monopoly where Lisa's comically steady descent into poverty reminded us just how entertaining an evening of board games at home can be with the right people around.) But Saturday we decided to have a day of  "free fun" outside of the house with a visit to the Cleveland art museum and lunch in beachwood with leftover christmas gift cards we hadn't used yet. It was a good, good plan.
I'm surprised every time we go to the art museum how much fun the boys actually have, even at their young ages. Oren just goofs around for the most part but he loves running around in there, flopping on benches and hearing his voice echo in the big marble lined rooms. Wes is more into the stuff. The armor room in particular and the ancient Egyptian area too.  
And these next few pictures are from yesterday and I'm just throwing them in for fun because they're so dang cute.  Wes was really needing a haircut and I'm terrible about scheduling these things in advance and then I get desperate. So on a whim we tried out a new barber in town with a walk in policy. Here is documentation of that experience (I mostly just love the sucker in his mouth and the scowl on his face.)  
 (not into it.)
Also, Jean-Marie came over for dinner last night and Wes lured her into his bedroom with the promise of pre-selected cat videos on his computer he'd planned out just for her. Meanwhile, Lincoln used his feline wiles to charm her with lots of nose licks and a heavy duty cuddling sesh.

I'm telling you what, those boys of mine sure know how to woo the ladies ;)

GooseWaddle + A Giveaway!

posted on: Monday, February 10, 2014

I don't normally do many product reviews or giveaways on my blog but when the team at GooseWaddle contacted me about hosting a giveaway for one of their supremely cozy blanket sets I had to consider. I took some time to peruse their website and learn about the company, their products and most importantly their mission. 

GooseWaddle promotes a "Buy 1, Give 1" campaign, which means that for every one of these snuggly blankets sold, GooseWaddle donates one to a child in need.  That is seriously impressive to me and extremely generous considering this blanket and baby blankie combo is valued at $90! I love a company that gives back, especially one with an amazing product. You can not believe how gorgeous and luxurious these pretty blankets are. They are seriously so soft you guys, like my kids have been fighting over them since they hit the doorstep. Wes claimed the big one for himself and relegated the smaller blankie to Oren and they've each slept with their respective blankets every night since. I'm not even just saying that. They love how soft and warm they are and they're perfect to wrap up in on these cold winter nights. And also, let's be honest here, we all know I'm rooting to add Booth baby #3 to the family one day and I've been dreaming of wrapping a little one up in one of these puppies ever since they arrived. 

Also, can I just say how impressed I was with the packaging and the nice gift box the set came in? I keep thinking this would make a perfect baby shower gift for all the new moms in my life. This is the kind of high quality, luxury blanket that can almost be an heirloom piece. A finely made blanket that you hand down from kid to kid until it eventually becomes a staple in the household. It's definitely a treasure worth investing in.

And now for the giveaway portion of this blog post! All you have to do is visit the GooseWaddle website and take a look at the three classic color options they offer, then come back here and leave a comment below telling me which color blanket you'd prefer. A winner will be selected a week from today and announced right here on the blog so make sure to check back and see if you're our winner! Good luck and stay warm, friends!

Kitchen Phase One - Complete!

posted on: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Well, we finished up phase one of the our kitchen renovation and I couldn't be happier with it! To recap, "phase one" (as I'm calling it) consisted of the lighter cosmetic fixes Josh and I could do on our own. We removed the existing yucky wallpaper border and painted all the cabinetry, trim, doors, wainscoting and walls. We replaced both light fixtures and removed an unnecessary one from over the back door. We tore out the upper cabinets that used to be flanking the left hand side of the window and replaced them with open shelving which we DIY'd. We also replaced the flowery etched glass cabinet door inserts with plain glass. Then of course I threw in some finishing touches; new window coverings, new switches, outlets and new covers. Nothing too drastic in terms of time, money or effort but it sure did make a huge difference. In case you missed it, here's the "before" post showing what our kitchen looked like right before we moved in. It was a bit too old fashioned and out dated for my taste and was definitely in need of a little pick me up.

Phase two is coming down the line at some point here in the future and that will be the heavier duty construction changes that we'll need to hire out. New countertops with an undermount sink, a new floor (I'm thinking something like this but maybe in a larger plank size?), possibly new hardware but I'm going to live with the existing for a bit longer and see how I feel about it down the road and last but not least, a new dishwasher. That dishwasher is on it's last leg and the sight of it is frankly killing me, so that will be happening even sooner than the rest. (We might have just pulled the trigger on a new one had we not just had to replace eight tires and a busted refrigerator relay.) But SOONish, yes.

Josh really wanted to stain these shelves and I was on the fence between staining and painting them. We figured it was easiest to stain first and if we didn't like them go back and paint over them if necessary - so stained it is! And I think I'm digging the stained look so far. The wood tones bring a little warmth back into the space which I think is good and if we ever change our minds it's the eaisest thing in the world to slap a couple coats of paint on them to give it a whole new look.

^^^^Do me a favor and just picture the beautiful, sleek, stainless steel dishwasher that will be here in a few months from now, okay?^^^^

And yes, I did go get a big bag of lemons to fill this bowl with because I was so excited about this kitchen being done. Judge away.

Sorry these pictures are so awful, by the way. I never know how to properly light a room to photograph it accurately and my photos always turn out too dark or too light or too yellow? Also, I took some of these photos during the day and some at night because clearly I am the worst.

oh hey, Lincoln!

There are normally way more doors open than this on a regular basis but I had to clearly display the MANY doors that took many hours of labor and many coats of paint to complete. Here they are friends, in all their freshly painted glory. Marvel with me, will you? (Oh, and try not to pay too much attention to that ugly floor, okay?)

Source list (there ain't much): Trim color Benjamin Moore OC-17, white dove. Wall color Sherwin Williams SW6197 aloof gray. Pendant light over sink, Luna Cord from Schoolhouse Electric. Ceiling light from Lowes. Open sheving cut to size from planks and brackets from Lowes. We stained the shelves with this cool new product from Cabot which is stain and poly in one and cuts your labor time in half! Stain color is Irish Setter. The little rug is from Target and other miscellaneous accessories are from HomeGoods and/or Target as well.
And that's it! It may not be a complete overhaul just yet but walking into this room makes me smile now instead of cringe so I'd call that a success in itself. So, what do you guys think? Have you ever similarly made over a kitchen yourselves? I'd love to hear!

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